lesson in graphics cards

  GOOLY 15:52 09 Jan 2005

I currently have a Leadtek Winfast A340 TD-256mb FX5200 Graphics card - is this any good? it only cost £70 brand new.

I can't get my head round the fact that some 128mb Cards are well over £100 in cost?? why is this when my 256mb card was only £70 (make, quality?)

When I upgrade cards in a few months, am I also looking for the FX number? eg mines a FX5200? is it a case of the higer the better?

If someone could give me a lesson in Graphics cards I'd be really grateful, possibly even give me some suggestions of good cards to upgrade too?

Help appreciated.

  Rayuk 15:55 09 Jan 2005

click here

Its not the memory that counts ie 64 128 or 256Mb its the actual graphics chipset.

  Starfox 15:56 09 Jan 2005

It's the graphics chip that counts not the memory.

Some 128mb cards are better than others at 256mb.

  citadel 16:00 09 Jan 2005

depending on what you can afford, gforce 6600gt, 6800, or 6800gt. dont get anything with le at the end.

  Starfox 16:03 09 Jan 2005
  interzone55 16:08 09 Jan 2005

The FX5200 is a reletively old card, and is pretty much bottom of the range now.

nVidia have now dropped the FX name and are on the 6000 range, with the 6600 as the base model of this range at the moment, these cost in the region of £150 for a 128Mb model.

It's a common misconception that the more RAM on a card the better it is. RAM is cheap, so in order to make a ropey card slightly better the manufacturer puts extra memory onboard. The RAM on a card is mainly used for buffering data, so if the chipset is fast enough it doesn't need vast amounts of RAM.

  topdude 16:13 09 Jan 2005

Graphics cards come in a confusing array of numbers and spec with no one solution for everyone.
Decide how much you are prepared to spend.
Decide what you want the card to do.
Think about a faster CPU as well if sheer speed is what you want.
Visit forums for Nvidia / ATI cards and see what users recommend.
My card is a Radeon 9200, about the same spec as your FX5200 with an Athlon XP 2500 CPU. I find this is more than enough for the games i play like "Medal of Honour", and all usual PC activities.

  Bleep 16:20 09 Jan 2005

You got robbed big time you should'nt pay anymore than £40 for a FX5200 they are one of the slowest cards around, as above the GPU deals with the main performance of the card not the memory.

The only time memory helps is with high performance cards 6800 GT / X800's and high performance games - all the rest of the time enjoy 1-2% max performance boost.

An FX5200 with 1GB of RAM would be hammered by a FX5900 with 128MB of RAM WHY?

Because the cheaper cards have 4 pixel piplines against 8 pixel piplines of the FX5900 and 16 pixel piplines of the 6800 GT and above cards this.

This controls a cards fill rate which is dependent on how quick the GPU can produce thenm which with a slow card such as FX5200 takes ages.

Now the memory is used to store pre-draw frames to increase frame rate, but if your GPU can just about manage 1 frame at a time theres ZERO benfit to having 10 frames pre-drawn and the GPU is not powerful enough to draw them.

  Totally-braindead 18:02 09 Jan 2005

Have a look at click here there is a part 5 but I think it mainly deals with Express cards which wouldn't work with your motherboard, but you can see the speeds the different cards have.

  GOOLY 17:17 10 Jan 2005

you don't know what motherboard I have do you?

  TomJerry 17:32 10 Jan 2005

FX5200 costs £33.89 click here

if you have a funny motherboard without AGP, PCI version costs £51.49 click here

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